Ethics & Compliance Initiative Fellows Meeting (Day 1)

Yesterday was Day 1 of the ECI Fellows meeting. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

  • If your E&C function has a poor relationship with the communication/marketing function of your organization, you are not alone. According to an ECI membership survey, our relationship with the C&M function is the worse among all functions. This is concerning given the importance of communication in changing or improving culture. Some ideas to address this problem (if you have it) include: (1) taking steps to improve the relationship with members of the C&M function; (2) hire C&M talent directly into the E&C function; or (3) make sure your next E&C hire has an affinity for C&M activities.
  • According to a different membership survey, organizations will soon look to hire more candidates with a certification or a specialized degree in E&C. Indeed, we see more and more professional associations and universities offering E&C certifications/degrees. It’s not clear which trend results from the other. Meanwhile, no one has identified the capabilities and skills that an E&C professional should have.
  • First there was “speak up”. Then, there was “listen up”. Now, there’s “follow up”. I love this evolution. It recognizes that no one will speak up if we don’t believe that we’ll be listened to and that something will be done.
  • “Stories put babies to sleep and send soldiers to war.” I had never heard this expression before and it was a great reminder that humans are moved by narrative. If stories can send soldiers to war, then surely they are powerful enough to create the organization culture we need. Are you using stories?
  • Research has demonstrated that when an organization’s leadership doesn’t walk the talk (i.e. they creates policies and processes that are not aligned with the stated values), employees are less likely to be truthful with the leadership. Employees will tell leadership what they want to hear instead of the truth. Facebook seems to be experiencing this at the moment.
  • Food for thought: resilience = influence.
  • Your tactical performance is only as good as your ability to learn from the past. Your adaptive performance is only as good as your ability to learn for the future. Thus, learning is the only way to sustainably improve performance.

I’m ready for Day 2.

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